Saint of the Day – 15 December – Blessed Marino of Cava OSB (Died 1170) Monk, the Seventh Abbot of the famous Abbey of The Holy Trinity of Cava (La Trinità della Cava) in the Province of Salerno, southern Italy. The Abbey was founded in 1011 by Alferius of La Cava (930–1050). Marino was a powerful administrator, so much so, that many other Monasteries elected to be governed by him. He was also appointed as a Royal and secular Governor, through the efforts of his diplomatic peace negotiations.
The Roman Martyrology states: “In the Monastery of Cava de ‘Tirreni in Campania, blessed Marino, Abbot, admirable in his fidelity to the Roman Pontiff.”
We have no information of our Saints early life but we know that Marino was at first a simple Monk, who distinguished himself by the task of the care of the precious vessels and the ancient books and documents of the Monastery.
When Marino was elected Abbot on 9 July 1146, he went to Rome, at the beginning of his mandate, according to the custom at La Cava, to obtain the Papal blessing. The then Cistercian Pope Eugene III (1145-1153),the disciple of St Bernard, welcomed him with honour and on that occasion also entrusted him with the reform of the Monastery of S.t Laurence in Panisperna, according to the manner in which La Cava was administered.
The same Pope by a Bull of 6 May 1149, took the La Cava Abbey under his own protection, making it subject to the Apostolic See, thus appointing it independent of the Diocesan authorities.
The government of Abbot Marino was fruitful in works and prosperity thanks to the generous donations of Bishops, Princes and feudal Lords. So much so, that other Monasteries and other Churches came to place themselves under Abbot Marino’s wise and careful protection and care.
The wealth that flowed ,was used to help the poor and suffering, for the sustenance of the numerous Monks, for the construction of buildings and for the splendour of worship. Below is the Interior of the Abbey Basilica, one of grand proportions and beauty.
The Abbey Basilica was covered with precious inlaid marble, decorated with frescoes, paved with polychrome mosaics; moreover, for his work as negotiator for peace between the King of Sicily, William the Bad (1120-66) and Pope Adrian IV (1154-1159), having gone to the Court of Palermo, he obtained a document from the King, confirming the possessions fof his Abbey, taking it under Royal protection and exempting it from taxes. Marino was then a secular administrator too, enabling him to appoint vassals, enlist soldiers, appoint judges and notaries.
Marino died a holy death on 15 December 1170. His body was buried in the Abbey’s Basilica. In 1648 his relics were translated to a Shrine Altar in the Basilica after the confirmation of the Marino’s Beatification on 16 May 1928, by Pope Pius XI.
If you would like to discover St Alferius, his Biography is here: